March 21, 2023

General Studies Paper 3

Context: On National Tourism Day (January 25) the Ministry of Railways, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, is launching its Jagannath Yatra train package.


  • India ranks 6th according to the World Travel and Tourism Council in terms of Travel & Tourism total contribution to GDP in 2021.
  • India is currently ranked 54th in World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (2021).
  • India has 40 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (32 cultural, 7 natural, and 1 mixed) as of 2021.
    • Dholavira and Ramappa Temple are the latest ones.

Jagannath Yatra train package:

  • It is an eight-day tour that begins from Delhi, traverses Kashi and other places and ends at the Vishnupad temple in Gaya.
  • It is launched by the Ministry of Railways, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.
  • This is linked to using Bharat Gaurav Trains (or theme-based tourist circuit trains): To highlight India’s rich cultural heritage and history.

Promotion of India’s tourism by Government:

  • The Ministry of Tourism has prioritized the task of inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination, breaking down silos and working together effectively with other Ministries.
  • The Ministry of Tourism coordinates with over 20 central government Ministries in the promotion and the development of tourism in the country.
  • The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Home Affairs organized the National Conference on Tourist Police.
    • To develop tourist specific policing
    • Aim: working with the police and sensitizing them on addressing the needs of foreign and domestic tourists.
  • With The Ministry of Education: Tourism Ministry has begun establishing ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs to nurture young ambassadors of Indian tourism.
  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is aiming to make India an attractive cruise tourism destination using state-of-the-art infrastructure.
  • In partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs: tourism officers have been placed in 20 Indian missions in countries that contribute to some of the highest foreign tourist arrivals in India.
    • Role:
      • Facilitating and providing inputs for country-specific sensibilities and having them reflected in tourism products.
    • With the Ministry of Roadways and the Petroleum Ministry: steps are being taken to ensure that highways and fuel stations have clean sanitation infrastructure.
    • The Ministry of Tourism is funding several commercial flight routes in partnership with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, making them viable.

Tourism policy:

  • To promote investment in the tourism sector: granting of industry status to the sector, along with formally granting infrastructure status to hotels.
  • Five key areas would be given significant focus in the next 10 years:
    • green tourism
    • digital tourism
    • destination management
    • skilling the hospitality sector
    • supporting tourism-related Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Relief Measures and Taxation Breaks
  • It doesn’t deal with specific operational issues, but offers framework conditions to help the sector, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

Recent Initiatives Related to Tourism in India:

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme
  • Draft National Tourism Policy 2022
  • Dekho Apna Desh Initiative
  • National Green Tourism Mission

Way Forward

  • The new draft National Tourism Policy 2022 has been formulated after situational analysis including the impact of COVID-19 and taking into account future projections for the tourism sector with a vision for India@100.
  • G-20 presidency: Every delegate or visitor who is in India to attend the G-20 summit will return as a brand ambassador and spread the word on India’s rich cultural, spiritual and natural heritage.
  • The Ministry of Tourism declaration of “Visit India Year 2023” aims to promote various tourism products and destinations to increase India’s share in the global tourism market.
  • Domestic tourism has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, even exceeding it in some cases.
    • Jammu and Kashmir: record 84(one point eight four)crore domestic tourists visiting in 2022.
  • For centuries many great foreign travelers have visited India and shared their experiences in the form of memoirs, travelogs, poetry and books, as Megasthenes, Hiuen-Tsang, Marco Polo, and Fa-Hien have shown.
  • As the birthplace to four major world religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism
    • India can truly claim to be the world’s spiritual beacon.


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